Friday, May 21, 2010

Perseverance: Update on March 21st, 2010

The ship currently is sitting in the last port of the Caribbean tour we have been in for 10 months, and we are getting ready to sail across the Atlantic yet again (my second time) to West Africa. The Caribbean has been quite hard and trying, and much different than anything I have seen. I will not lie, the last few weeks have been a tremendous challenge for me for a few different reasons, and the Sabbath days we are having (today is the last one) have helped a lot. The port we are in is an amazing place to take a break, with the town a 20 minute walk, and nature surrounding. We are in Rousseau, Dominica, and I have done a lot more here than in the past two ports in terms of getting out. I have forded a river for a few hours, participated in a scavenger hunt, and played in a soccer tournament. The sessions we have had were a blessing. They were about our “nets”, which is symbolic for our ministry, and how they catch and tear, and need mending. I was very encouraged to love those around me no matter how much I don’t want to, and to focus on God more than myself when it comes to ministry.
I had been struggling with something that I have struggled with a lot in my short life; complacency. I get tired of routine, and have a deep need for change often. I don’t like to feel like I am not growing, or moving forward, or wasting time. Life is precious, and time is life, thus feeling like I am wasting time is detrimental to my attitude. I wanted to come home early to try and work on my next steps, and be with my family. I have been taught a difficult lesson the past few days, and been made to realize I lack a key thing I need; perseverance. I have never been good at persevering in my life, and have somewhat of a quitter’s mentality. Maybe it is my stubborn mind, but it has been hard to stay on board the past weeks, and I think God made it perfectly clear that this is the adversity I need to deal with, more than outside persecution; I need to win in the field of my mind. I need to choose to move on, even when I don’t want to be here. I need prayer, and am so weak, but I will finish.

Friday, May 7, 2010

What Could Be Next: Update on May 7, 2010

My sister’s lone comment on my last blog made me realize that I haven’t explained my situation very well and, through writing, maybe I can think it through properly, and logically. I am currently three ports away from departing to West Africa, which is at the end of the month. This means I will cross the Atlantic for the second time, and visit my fourth continent since coming here 20 months ago. We are currently in Antigua, and it is very busy on board. The crowds downstairs remind me a bit of Jamaica, and the island itself is a lot like most Caribbean Islands. I had the chance to play basketball today against a team who beat us really bad, but that is ok. I still had the chance to give out bibles (disguised as sports magazines) to a bunch of people, and we all know God certainly can use that.

I have four months left here before I come back to Michigan and have to choose a path. One path I could pursue would be to try and get a literary agent to get my material out there, after I write it, while working a normal job. Another path I have pondered is that of education in the name of English, Literature, and/or Creative Writing. I don’t really want to go to school, but it may be a necessary evil in the overeducated, competative world of literature. I would really love to attend a University in Edinburgh, Scotland for a year or so though, which I would do joyfully. The last route, and most intriguing, route is that of continued missions. I would like to go to Nepal for a year to do a trekking ministry, and also write about the stories I see with my group. The need is there, and my desire is too, but things need to fall into place. There is still no girl in the equation, which could affect the decision, and I will enjoy my freedom until God places my other half in my life (and hopefully after).

I am excited to come home and start the next adventure, but the friends I have made will be dearly missed. The next path is a slightly less blurred one than it was 20 months ago, and I thank God for that, so now I have to take the right steps, and most importantly, keep growing. Thanks to all of you who support me in this mission; I honestly don’t know where I’d be if I had not come here. I may be in some career I don’t want to be in, or jail, or stuck in the party routine of debauchery; I don’t know, but thanks for helping enable me to see God in His glory, and to come near to him in my time of deepest need.